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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ectoparasite control in public health

  • Author(s): Barnes, Allan M.
  • et al.

An extensive review of the importance of ectoparasite control on mammals and its relation to public health. Fleas, ticks, mites, and lice are discussed in detail, as well as their roles as vectors of disease of public health importance in the U.S. Ectoparasite control methods are described. The role of flea control and/or rodent control in the prevention or control of enzootic plague is discussed. Specific recommendations on use of insecticides within bait boxes are provided, as is the practice of burrow dusting for flea control. Control of lice that infect humans is discussed, as well as the potential role of lice in epidemic typhus in some areas of the world. Mites that affect humans, including chiggers and the tropical rat mite, are mentioned and control recommendations are provided. The role of ticks in serving as vectors of various rickettsia, bacteria, viruses, and protozoa is discussed in some detail, especially in relationship to human diseases that tick bites may cause. Tick biology, identification, and control are described in detail and some case studies are provided. A list of literature citations regarding ectoparasites is included.

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